iOS overtakes Android as Apple announces latest update

On Tuesday, Apple made the fifth beta version of iOS 8.2 available to developers. While no public release date has been announced, past history suggests that the latest update to the mobile operating system is almost ready, and it's expected to bring some big changes. iOS 8.2 will be compatible with the upcoming Apple Watch, which is now officially set for an April release.

The company's first wearable device will work in conjunction with an iPhone, exchanging data and allowing wearers to use some features, including Apple Pay, without taking out their smartphone. The update also addresses a calendar issue that caused iOS to sync to Greenwich Mean Time regardless of the user's actual location.

Also this week, market research firm Kantar Worldpanel revealed that, for the first time in two years, iOS is now the most widely used mobile operating system in the U.S., overtaking Android. Of all smartphones that were sold in this country during the fourth quarter of 2014, 47.7 percent operated on iOS, and sales were also up overseas. This growth was driven by the iPhone 6, as Apple sold 74.5 million phones in Q4.

"While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter's performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever," said Kantar chief of research Carolina Milanesi. "With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market."

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